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The Saga Of Lady Black Duck

Pacific Black Duck ducklings

I had so many photos to choose from this week and together they tell a story of courage, determination, hardship, motherhood, competition, predator and prey, war and the fight for survival, that I had a hard time selecting which images to share with you. So I apologise for the image overload.

The story starts with Lady Black Duck, who has one goal, to see her brood of chicks grow to adulthood. 

Pacific Black Duck

When we arrived on the scene Lady Black Duck and her brood were quite relaxed, her chicks happily following behind her at their own pace.

Lady Black Duck and her brood

She gathered her brood to her and they duly listened while she explained some of the finer points of dabbling.

Lady Black Duck explains dabbling techniques to her ducklings

With the lessons complete it was time to put all that knowledge into practice.

Pacific black duck and her ducklings

 But then Lady Black Duck spotted something which caused her great concern.

Pacific black duck with her ducklings spots a rival duck coming to steal her young

A rival duck wanting to steal her brood from her!

Lady Black Duck shouted for her chicks to swim as fast as they could.

Pacific black duck with her ducklings spots a rival duck coming to steal her ducklings

She then kicked water in her rivals face with forceful vigour.

black duck kicking water into the face of her rival

Thinking herself successful in deterring her rival she called to her chicks to stay close.

However, unbeknown to her Lady Black Ducks rival was trying for a sneak chick-napping from the rear.

sneaky duckling-napping attempt from the rear

This time Lady Black Duck went for a full frontal assault chasing off her rival.

Chasing off a rival black duck

There was retaliation and repeated attacks.

Skirmish between black duck parents for rights to raise the young

who will win the right to raise the ducklings?

Lady Black Duck was proud to see her chicks putting their new dabbling skills to work despite the kerfuffle.

Who will win the right to raise the ducklings?

The scuffle attracted the notice of Rex Raven, who's favourite meal is duckling

Raven hunting for duckling while mother duck fights off another duck.

Lady Black Duck was so focused on sending her rival off that she didn't notice Rex Raven arriving on the scene.

Seagull attracted by the noise of a duck fight thinks there might be some food to be found.

All that noise could only mean one thing according the Seagull teachings; food! If there's noise there's food, if there's food that's where you want to be!

Seagull swoops in attracted by the noise of a duck fight thinks there might be some food to be found.

So in swooped Sally Seagull to see what was on offer for a snack.

Seeing as the skirmishes were not deterring Lady Black Duck's rival she called her chicks to her and they made a run for it.

Black ducks vying for the right to raise the ducklings

Sally Seagull got her snack and she took it to land to eat at her leisure.

But Rex Raven is closed in to steal it away from her!

Raven about to steal Seagull's lunch?

Ah, no he's isn't, he's just trying to dodge Willie who has a vendetta against Rex Raven. Sally's snack was safe after all.

Raven being swooped by a willie wagtail

Willie attacked Rex Raven with full force!

Raven being attacked by a willie wagtail

Diving and swooping at the nasty Raven

Willie wag tail attacks a raven

Willie didn't care that Rex Raven was far bigger them him. That Raven is an egg thief!

He is most definitely not welcome.

Willie wag tail tackling a raven

Rex Raven soon ignored the little Willie wag-tail and went back to his duckling observations, hoping for a good opportunity to catch some lunch of his own.

willie wag-tail  is so small next to the raven

Willie did not let up and was very distracting for Rex Raven, it was Willie's efforts that kept Lady Black Duck's brood safe during her battles with her rival.

Willie wag-tail's attack saves the ducklings from the raven

Willie wag-tail surveys his territory

Brave Willie returned to his outpost to survey the scene, planning his next attack. 

A raven overlooks a black duck family hoping for a spot of lunch as does the seagull

As we departed the the saga continued and I hoped that Lady Black Duck prevailed against her rival and that Rex Raven would give up and search for lunch elsewhere.


  1. What a beautiful collection of photos, I find birds so difficult to photo but fascinating to watch

    Thank you for linking up

  2. In Germany we lived near a lake and every spring I counted myself lucky to see the circle of life unfold before my eyes.

  3. this is wonderful stella. i love the story. and i love willies. such darling brave little birds.

    1. Willie's are incredible. Their eyebrows make me think of them as little samurai warriors.

  4. You have captured the detail of them going about their business so well

  5. Brilliant narration...quite the drama there isn't there?! Great photos :)

  6. Every photo is so clear! Lovely shots =) #mysundayphoto

  7. such an exciting story! love the images!

  8. Lovely photos! These have to be some of the best duckling shots I've seen!
    Hope you've had a fantastic weekend.

  9. Beautiful, clear photos of some lovely birds. Your commentary told a story that was so easy to follow with the photos. Brilliant post.

  10. Nice clear photos and story, did they drive you quackers :-)

    Have a quacktastic week :-)

  11. Such a drama you've captured with your camera - great series!
    Please come share at

  12. Great photos taken, I love watching the birds.
    Please stop by and share on

  13. What a fabulous story - all that is wonderful in life is there!

  14. a lovely selection of photographs and a great story

  15. Deary me. I was`decidedly worried there for a moment. Great story telling. Will get my animal mad son to take a look!

  16. Ducks are so much fun to watch when they have little ones to look after. Very nice set of images.

  17. The story of life I guess, beautiful illustrated


  18. What a great illustration of birds in action :)

  19. the ducks are so cute! can't resist them ;-)
    greetings, Hilde

  20. Great series of photos, and I love the story that goes with it!

  21. Phew - I am quite out of breath after reading this saga and it makes my attempts to bring up 2 boys seem so easy in comparison! Bon courage Mrs Black Duck and I look forward to seeing more of your life on #AnimalTales

  22. Your photos make we want to get out there and play with my camera more. The story also reminded me of my father. We used to go to the park and feed the ducks stale bread we bought for 10 cents a loaf at the wonderbread store down the street. A seegull swooped down and snatched a baby duck once. My dad hurled a rock at it, hit it and the baby duck was dropped. Little bit of memory lane =)

  23. What a great post!! These are awesome photos and I love the story you created to go with them. I laughed and I awwwwwwwww'ed. So sweet!

    Thank you for sharing them with us at Photo Friday!


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